Over 6,000 new trees to be planted in Worcester
6,100 new trees are to be planted in Worcester, as a result of successful applications by Worcester City Council to central Government's Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
The Urban Tree Challenge Fund aims to support the planting of more than 130,000 trees across England's towns and cities.
4,000 mixed broad-leaved native species will be planted in Perdiswell Park (WR3 7SN); 1,500 at Diglis Playing Fields (WR5 3EF) to create woodland walkways, and a further 600 at the Howard Road recreational grounds in St. John's, creating a barrier with neighbouring residential properties.
Planting will begin in November 2020, with the remainder of the trees planted in the winter of 2021 if COVID limits the number of trees that can be planted this season. A number of local community groups will be assisting with the planting.
"We are delighted to have received funding for over 6,000 new trees in Worcester," says Cllr Joy Squires, Chair of the City Council's Environment Committee.
"Planting more trees will help to reduce noise, reduce flood risk and provide more shade in the hotter months. It is also one element of the city's Environmental Sustainability Strategy which sets out numerous actions to help Worcester become carbon neutral by 2030."
Some of the trees will replace existing ones which have reached the end of their natural lives. On 21 October work to fell eight Lime trees around the perimeter of Worcester's Pitchcroft racecourse will begin, and is expected to last around one week. The trees have been attacked by fungal and bacterial pathogens. Two trees in the same area were blown over following strong winds last year, and there is a high risk that others could collapse if action isn't taken to remove them now.
New trees will be planted at Pitchcroft in the future to replace those which have been lost.
In other areas of the city, trees are at risk from Ash dieback – a fungal pathogen which originated in Asia and was first seen in the UK in 2012. The disease spreads with microscopic fungal spores in the air and once established, can no longer be stopped or slowed down.
New Plantation Local Nature Reserve (WR4 0QJ) and Trotshill Copse in Warndon have been designated as the two areas most at risk of Ash Die Back in Worcester. The vast majority of trees in these areas are Ash trees, and it is anticipated that 95% will eventually be lost to the pathogen.
A replanting programme is being planned, using a mix of broadleaf and native trees to support biodiversity.